Book Review – The Ultimates Vol. 1 Super-Human

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This is part of Marvel’s Ultimate universe, where they took the normal universe and updated it, giving the characters more of an edge. The Ultimate universe has bled into the movies so a few things were familiar. This volume is centered around the formation of what we know as The Avengers, and it’s written by Mark Millar, pencilled by Bryan Hitch and inked by Andrew Currie. 

I liked it for the most part. I thought the variations on the established background weren’t nonsensical. Some of them were drastic and the characters were taken to the extreme, but it felt like they were different versions of characters rather than being different characters entirely. This volume collects issues 1-6 and mostly deals with how the team comes together. It wasn’t the most exciting of stories so I didn’t find it gripping, but it was interesting to see how things were different. 

When I read more I’ll be interested to see whether these extreme versions of the characters are used to draw parallels with the established characters or whether they’ll be used for a basic shock value. At the moment I have a feeling it could go either way, so we’ll see. 

This is of course the book that first ‘cast’ Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. I found the mention of pop culture a bit distracting. There was too much name-dropping at certain points, although I did find the reference to Robert Downey Jr. cute (although it wasn’t in the context of who would play Iron Man). One of my favourite characters was actually Jarvis (who here is a human rather than the compute as seen in the movies) as he gets off a few sarcastic quips. 

The artwork was really good, except for the design of the Iron Man suit. I thought it looked a little cutesy and I would have preferred something a little more imposing. 

There were a couple of nice revelations about Tony Stark and The Wasp towards the end which had me eager to read more. I found the beginning a little slow-going though. I was hoping that the story would start off with a bang but it seems to be more of a slow burn, and it does improve as it continues. Like I said though, it’s hard to form a judgment about the whole thing because this lays a bare foundation so I’ll need to read more to get the real meat of the story. 

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